Low overall game fps with mid~high end setup

So I have been playing the ue4 version of Automation since it came out and always had a relatively low fps on this version (40fps - 60fps). Now since I have a new monitor that supports 1440p and 144Hz, the game resolution of automation obviously changed from 1080p to 1440p.

I was quite worried beforehand because this would normally mean that the fps would drop by about 50%. Now I noticed that the fps didn’t change at all by doubling the resolution. This obviously raised some questions at my side.

So I went experimenting with the graphics settings (with an i6 + turbo in engine designer) and by putting the preset on ultra low I reach a stable fps of about 61 ~ 62. By putting the preset on epic I reach a stable fps of about 32.

I went deeper into the settings to find the cause of this huge fps drop and I found out that the setting ‘environmental detail’ is the culprit; When i put everything on max except for ‘environmental detail’ I get the same 62 fps as with everything on lowest.
Now when I put every setting on lowest and only ‘environmental detail’ on max, the fps doesn’t drop as far. Appearantly it is a combination of ‘environmental detail’, ‘resolution scale’ and ‘post processing’. But only lowering ‘environmental detail’ seems to benefit the fps. :thinking:

In other words: environmental detail is the only graphics setting that has an impact on my fps, but only when used in combination with ‘resolution scale’ and ‘post processing’ on max.:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Now for the second part of this story: I think the overall game fps is really really low. Especially for a graphical relatively simple designer game. I can run Fallout 4 with max settings on 1080p with an average fps of about 110, even Crysis 3 is not a big problem at all.

so how is it possible that the maximum fps that I can reach on lowest settings on a graphically relatively simple game like this is about 62?
My gaming guts tell me that the fps should be around 150 on minimal and maybe 110 on maximum on my setup, especially when looking at the recommended specs of Automation. (and keeping less optimization compared to AAA games in mind)

Please remember; I am not bashing on you guys, I am just trying to put things into perspective and I am trying to help you guys figure out what is happening with the fps.:wink: I still play this game on a daily basis and I am really looking forward to the 13th of july.

My pc setup:
CPU: Intel-i7 6700
RAM: 16GB 2400Mhz DDR4
OS: Windows 10 Pro - 64bit
go ahead and ask for more specs if needed

Thanks for that little investigation! :slight_smile:
Definitely something for @zeussy and @Daffyflyer to comment on!

If i remember it’s limiting FPS at 60 ish, hence why all kinds of different configurations are still giving you 60fps. In other words it seems like most of the time your PC is fast enough to hit the frame rate limiter regardless of settings. (And I’m guessing the drops below that are when dragging headlight etc, which is likely CPU)

The reason Epic drops the frame rate so much is that it does a bunch of stuff that makes things look a little better at the cost of quite a lot of performance (paticularly the resolution scaling, which also scales up a whole load of screenspace effects too).

It’s only really there as an option in case you want to try and make it a little prettier on some super high end machine. I will when I get a chance take a look at epic settings again and see if anything could be a bit more efficient

Also, when you say 60fps is low, do you mean in terms of what you’d expect on the hardware (as said, due to frame rate limiter) or in terms of playability?

I’ve honestly never played it at more than 60fps and don’t really see why you’d want to given the nature of the game.

There is definitely a very big noticable difference in 60fps and 100+ fps. I didn’t believe it at first but just grab a 100+ Hz monitor and experience it yourself. It is already quite noticable when moving the cursor around on Windows desktop.

Anyway I was indeed stating that the FPS is low, while it is most of the time around 60 it often drops down to 40 or 30. Especially when using bigger engines with a turbo (V10, V12 and V16), so I think something is going on with the engines. I know that this game can’t have as much optimization as the big games, but I really got the feeling something strange is going on with the fps. I own over 170 games and with fps this one is definitely in the category GTA V, Crysis 3, Farcry 4 and Metro 2033/last light. Which are extemely resource heavy games on hardware.
On games like Rocket League I reach 150~160fps on 1440p. If that gives an indication. Even BeamNG-drive runs on 80fps on 1440p.:wink: So yes I think that the fps should definitely be better on this hardware.

Well, you might be a bit out of luck if you really want massive framerates, sorry!

It doesn’t at all surprise me that it’s quite resource heavy on high settings, like the GTA/Crysis comparisons are probably accurate. I know that might seem ridiculous given it’s a seemingly much “Smaller” game, but I suspect it gets quite bogged down with all the draw calls required for building engines out of that many modular pieces. (Which might also explain why it’s particularly bad on very complex engines).

Whereas games with much more static sort of assets can benefit from a lot more things being merged together, and generally a whole lot of optimisations that aren’t so doable with super modular procedural stuff. (Plus of course they can dedicate whole teams to getting every last bit of performance out of it, something we have only limited resources to do what we can with)

If framerate is a concern I’d definitely avoid epic settings though, it does various things that, whilst making it a tiny bit prettier, make it a LOT slower. It’s mainly there to get the absolute prettiest screenshots possible, or for people with really stupidly high end hardware, and at 1440p, with everything being rendered at 1.5x native resolution, it’s then effectively doing everything at 4k, including a bunch of expensive things like Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Screen Space Reflections etc. It’s definitely not simple from the GPUs point of view.

I’m sure there are also quite a few choices in the way we’ve done things in various places that have prioritized other things (ease of creating assets, modularity of parts etc) over FPS, but in the end it’s not a twitch shooter, so it’s not been the number one priority, as long as it gets 40+ on most hardware at appropriate settings.

The UI is also pretty heavy and complex compared to most games, and takes a surprising toll on performance

I run it on a GTX 970, and find High settings seems to me a solid 40 FPS while running a turbo V16 (which is pretty much worst case FPS), and usually 60fps or more everywhere else.

I’d love to have another go at squeezing a bit more performance out of it on high end hardware, as I’m sure a few improvements are possible, but I definitely wouldn’t expect a major revolution in performance, nor to probably ever get over about 70fps on sane hardware.

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Ok thanks for the clear reply. It is not a big problem for me, I was wondering if it could be a big problem for less fortunate setups, or that it was just my pc.

I have seen some little things that could maybe benefit the fps (don’t know how much impact it would have). Some may sound very obvious and may have a clear reason to be like this, but I would rather give you too much information than too little, i’m glad to help wherever I can.

But for instance when I put the camera inside the air intake manifold of certain injection systems, I can see that the full race intakes are in there. I think it is probably because of the modular engine designs, but graphically it is probably not the most efficient way of doing it. same goes for some environmental details that are not visual (outside the designing room).

It may sound like a stupid question or maybe it isn’t technically possible, but have you ever thought about graphically removing the pistons, conrods, valves etc. (internal components) when you are not using the see-through components options? I think this would really benefit fps because it are a lot of components that you literally can’t see when not using these options.

Keep up the good work, I am still amazed by the work this small team manages to deliver!

Huh. I just have it limited to 30 even though I can run it at 60 with mostly epic settings. It’s a smooth 30 and feels totally fine to me. Keeps the computer cooler too and leaves more resources for multitasking which I very much like to do.

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I’ve been running it on an MSI GTX-1050 Ti (4 GB version) with everything on “epic” settings for a while and was able to get slightly over 60 FPS @ 1080p Fullscreen without overclocking a thing. My hot ticket is having all unnecesary softwares and services disabled beforehand and performing a comprehensive system cleanup just to get rid of all the remaining trash that tends to get left behind between uninstalling sessions, just to speed things up considerably.